The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases

Posted: 1 Jun 2004

See all articles by Mark Gersovitz

Mark Gersovitz

Johns Hopkins University - Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeffrey S. Hammer

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

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Abstract

The structure of representative agents and decentralisation of the social planner's problem provide a framework for the economics of infection and associated externalities. Optimal implementation of prevention and therapy depends on: (1) biology including whether infection is person to person or by vectors; (2) whether the infected progress to recovery and susceptibility, immunity, or death; (3) costs of interventions; (4) whether interventions target everyone, the uninfected, the infected, or contacts between the two; (5) individual behaviour leading to two types of externalities. By way of example, if people recover to be susceptible, government subsidies should equally favour prevention and therapy.

Suggested Citation

Gersovitz, Mark and Hammer, Jeffrey S., The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=547488

Mark Gersovitz (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences ( email )

Department of Economics
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeffrey S. Hammer

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

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